At least ten jurors have objected to appearing on a jury in a case presided over by Judge Aaron Persky in Palo Alto, California this week, in protest of the justice’s sentencing of the Stanford rapist.
Judge Persky sentenced Brock Turner, 20, to just six months of jail time and probation, rehabilitation and registration on the sex offenders list for the rape of an unnamed Stanford student in 2015. The crime could have carried a 14 year jail sentence.
This week, prospective jurors have walked out of an unrelated case that Judge Persky is overseeing.
“I can’t be here, I’m so upset,” one juror told the Judge during the selection process, the East Bay Times reports. “I can’t believe what you did,” another said. After both comments, Judge Persky told the jurors that he understood and dismissed them from the jury.
This comes after tens of Stanford students protested Judge Persky’s sentencing of Turner at their graduation ceremony yesterday.
Stanford tradition allows for students to dress up for a parade around the university’s stadium called a ‘Wacky Walk’. And while there were plenty of silly costumes on display at yesterday’s graduation ceremony, there were also crowds of students who instead opted to hold aloft protest banners.
“Rape is rape”, “Teach your son not to rape” and “Brock Turner is not an exception” were just some of the signs on display. A womens’ advocacy group also flew a plane over the stadium, bearing a banner that read ‘Protect survivors. Not rapists. #PerskyMustGo’.
Documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, who delivered the commencement speech at the graduation ceremony, also referenced the rape case in his opening comments.
“If someone tells you they have been sexually assaulted, take it effing seriously and listen to them,” he told the 2016 graduating class.